Photos By: Francesca Tirpak
Say Anything, celebrating the unannounced release of their newest album I Don’t Think It Is, tours with a dynamic lineup including Museum Mouth, teen suicide, and mewithoutYou.
Saturday night was a great example of a concert phenomenon I would like to start calling “The Great Disparity.” The bands playing that night were clearly diverse in their music style and attitudes, and this could obviously be noticed simply by the crowd standing before each of them as the night wore on.
For the first band, North Carolina indie rock group Museum Mouth, the crowd milled about the main floor but remained relatively interested in the catchy tunes the band played for us. On April 29, the trio officially releases their new full-length album, Popcorn Fish Guinea Pig. but you can stream it currently on Stereogum here. With very much a sense of humor that recognizes one’s own flaws and handles them in a lightened manner, the band creates a heartbreaking yet hilarious commentary on the criticism of their classic “lo-fi” style, expressed beautifully in their short set on Saturday.
Maryland lo-fi, basement pop band Teen Suicide, a project led by lead songwriter Sam Ray, was the attraction for many of the first half of the members of the crowd that night, easily picked out by light-wash cuffed jeans, baseball caps with simple stitched words on the front, and essentially the common aesthetic approach Southern Californians have to the modern punk scene. Promoting their newest project, It’s the Big Joyous Celebration, Let’s Stir the Honeypot, and their last album with the name Teen Suicide (based on rising controversies around it), Sam Ray admitted live to the crowd that it was “their best music yet” in a very proud manner, and I would have to agree. The new record is dynamic, including a range of noise pop (like the title track – essentially – “The Big Joyous Celebration”) to classic rock-influenced songs (like the soulful ballad “Alex”). The band’s sound consisting mostly of experimental-sounding, synthesized elements, I was curious to hear the live version of the classics. The deeper, cleaner adaptation onstage did not disappoint.
mewithoutYou marked the shift from the lite-punk crowd to the pop punk/hardcore crowd attending the concert for bands more akin to the Philly band’s post-harcore rock style. Characterized by the simple, contemporary ink drawings on many of the decorations onstage – on the amps, on the drumset, on the banner hanging in the back since the beginning of the show – the set was dominated by mewithoutYou’s unique style of spoken word and free-ranging instrumental solos. Frontman Aaron Weiss’ soulful movements and wail-singing was enrapturing in a transcendental way. Their newest album, Pale Horses, is released next month and consists Weiss’ creative narrative of idea of “the world apocalyptic.”
The stage was cleared for LA band Say Anything, a project started in 2000 by Max Bemis, and for good reason. All members save for the drummer were hard to catch on camera due to their constant movement about the available space. Frontman Bemis was especially involved with the crowd, handing off the mic for a fan to sing into, and hanging over the barricade into the arms of the adoring and enthusiastic crowd. Following in the footsteps of many a trend-making music artist this year, like Beyonce and Beach House, Bemis released the band’s newest album, I Don’t Think It Is, by “forego[ing] the dying art of the lead-up” and sharing the album without warning. Needless to say, it seamlessly fit into the album’s focus on destroying the notions of feeling “blasé” in any way about music.